UK community leaders take to social media to express solidarity with Israel

X/Twitter was immediately flodded with messages of support after Iran launched its attacks


The Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis tweeted his support for Israel on Saturday night (Photo: Michael Donald)

With social media increasingly becoming the second battleground in Israel’s fight against its adversaries, Anglo-Jewish communal leaders took to its platform to show support for Israel as it came under attack from a barrage of Iranian missiles and drones.

Posting on X/Twitter, the Chief Rabbi wrote: “Our prayers are with Israel as she is under attack yet again. May Hashem protect the people of Israel from danger and deliver them from the bitterness of conflict to peace and security. Am Yisrael Chai!”

The next morning, the Chief Rabbi’s Tweet was one of relief:

As news broke that Iran had launched missiles, the Board of Deputies tweeted: “We are praying for the safety of Israel and all its citizens, as well as the entire region, as the Iranian regime launches a direct attack.”

In a strong message of defiance, the Embassy in London retweeted a post from the State of Israel: “It’s been a long night/morning but one thing is clear. We are strong, resilient and we will never give in to terror. Those who harm the people of Israel will pay the price.”

UJIA, which oversees gap year programmes and Israel summer tours, wrote on Twitter/X: “As red alert sirens ring out across Israel tonight in the face of an unprecedented attack from Iran, we extend our utmost concern and send prayers for the peace, safety and wellbeing for all the people of Israel and the region.”

Other organisations released statements instead of using social media. Co-leads of Progressive Judaism, Rabbi Josh Levy and Rabbi Charley Baginsky, said: “Last night, Israel found itself under attack once again. We are grateful that Israel has such developed measures to keep its population safe, and for the support it received from other nations.

“It is important to recognise, though, that it should not be normal for any country to have to defend themselves from drone and missile attack in this way.

They wrote that “[in] the darkest of times we must continue to strive for a sustainable peaceful path”.

A spokesperson for the United Synagogue, which organised two online communal prayer services on Saturday night, joined by over 3,000 people, said: "We pray for a refuah shlemah, a swift and full recovery, for the seven-year-old girl injured by one of the rockets last night and we thank God there were no further casualties. We pray for peace for all of Israel's inhabitants."

Masorti Judaism issued a prayer for peace, along with a statement to its UK and European communities to share with congregants: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Israel. We pray that everyone will be safe and that tensions will de-escalate.”

Speaking to the JC on Sunday morning, senior Masorti rabbi, Jonathan Wittenberg, said: “We stand in complete solidarity with the people of Israel and share the deep concern for everybody’s safety. Next week, we celebrate Seder Night, which is described in the Torah as “a night of watching” for Jewish people. Last night, was an anxious night of watching for all of Israel.

"We pray that just as God protected then, we will find protection, safety and hope now.”

He also expressed his “profound gratitude” to the IDF and its allies for “their skill in intercepting so many missiles”.

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, senior rabbi at the S&P Sephardi Community, told the JC: “For the last six months, our hearts have been in sadness and grief over the hostages and the war. And whilst this latest escalation and attack from Iran brings us even greater concern, our hearts remain steadfast and our resolve strong in our support and prayers for Israel.

"We pray for the safety, security, and triumph of our brothers and sisters in Israel and for Jews here in the UK and around the world who are facing terrible antisemitism and hatred during these difficult days. We also thank all of our non-Jewish friends and allies who have stood by us. We trust in God to bring us through as He always has through every generation.”

You can watch the United Synagogue’s prayer service for Israel here. Click here to see how you can help Israel.

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